Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston Named to Savoy Professional Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential African-Americans in Corporate America

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston has been recognized by Savoy Professional magazine as one of the top 100 most influential African-Americans in corporate America.

Now in its sixth year, Savoy's Top 100 Power List represents the leaders who have the most impact on business in America, according to Savoy's editorial staff, corporate contributors and advisors within the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).

"As the head of one of corporate America's largest foundations, Patrick Gaston is in a tremendous position to bring about substantive change," said Evangelia Biddy, vice president of national advertising for Savoy.  "Because of that and his long-standing success in the business community, he is well-deserving of a spot on Savoy's Top 100 Power List."

As president of the Verizon Foundation, Gaston is responsible for overseeing philanthropic strategy, grant making and initiatives in the foundation's key social-issue areas of education and literacy, family safety, health, and employee volunteerism. The Verizon Foundation is one of 10 largest corporate cash donors, according to the Foundation Center.

During his more than 20 years with Verizon, Gaston has served in a variety of management positions in operations, marketing, human resources, strategic planning and government relations. Prior to his appointment as president of the foundation in December 2003, he served as executive director of Verizon's Strategic Alliances Group, where he led the development of Verizon's corporate responsibility program and was responsible for overseeing corporate responsibility initiatives and managing national community affairs.

Gaston sits on a number of national nonprofit boards, including the NAACP SCF board of trustees, America's Charities, the Foundation of the University of West Indies, The Conference Board Contributions Council and the World Institute on Disability, and he serves as a vice chair of the Business Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gaston also is a member of the board of directors of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., a publicly traded company that operates a nationwide chain of retail stores. He also is a fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Gaston was raised in Boston, Mass., and holds a bachelor's degree in management from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University.  He earned an international certificate in business from École Supérieure de Commerce in Reims, France.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.